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When Grobler Architects found a run-down Victorian cottage in Gardens, we knew exactly what needed to be done. The property had so much potential, it practically designed itself.

The perfect two-room front cottage was still in excellent condition, once you looked past the brightly coloured walls and thread-bear carpets. All it needed was a good restoration. The aluminium windows were replaced with timber sash windows and new timber painted shutters, the Oregon pine floors were sanded and sealed, and the existing period features were restored to their former glory.

The 1970s rear extension and overcrowded garden needed the most attention. The 250m2 erf size was challenging, especially since the client wanted to add a much-needed double garage and a first floor to maximise the extensive views of the Cape Town City Bowl.

We decided to take advantage of the narrow shared driveway servitude and excavated a basement garage underneath the demolished rear extension. We then constructed a new open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area that seamlessly opened up onto the north-facing courtyard featuring a Koi pond, all neatly placed on top of the garage.

On completion of the project, the floating white concrete stairs lead to a generous master suite with north-facing sliding doors. This flows out onto a sheltered, succulent filled balcony with views of the Cape Town skyline beyond.

The master suite also offers views of the Table Mountain cable station from the bath and shower, with a jasmine planted courtyard maximising every usable piece of outdoor space.